- Newly-elected KwaZulu-Natal provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala has clarified the party’s stance on supporting former president Jacob Zuma during court proceedings
- Zikalala initially said the ANC leadership would not use party structures to support Zuma and noted it was wrong to support the former president
- He has since said individual ANC members were free to support Zuma when he appeared in court
The newly-elected African National Congress (ANC) KwaZulu-Natal provincial Chairperson Sihle Zikalala has already been forced to backtrack on an earlier statement and sought to clarify his apparent withdrawal of support for former president Jacob Zuma.
Zikalala initially told ANC members and delegates that the provincial leadership would not support Zuma and would not use any party structures to drum up support for the former leader. He added that it was wrong for ANC members to support Zuma and go against the will of the party’s national leadership.
He added that it was wrong for ANC members to support Zuma and go against the will of the party’s national leadership. Zikalala said it was in everyone’s best interest to accept the outcome and ruling of the courts.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Zikalala has since backtracked on this statement and sought to clarify the ANC KwaZulu-Natal’s stance on supporting Zuma. He said individual members of the ANC were free to support the former president in their personal capacity.
SowetanLive.co.za reported that Zikalala maintained his earlier stance that the provincial leadership would not in any way shape or form support or provide assistance to those supporting Zuma.
Zikalala said the national leadership was correct in not supporting Zuma and the KwaZulu-Natal body would comply with the instructions of the national leadership.
The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has in the past been in open defiance of an instruction by the National Executive Committee (NEC) which barred ANC members from showing party colours or wearing anything which connects them to the ruling party when supporting Zuma.
Zikalala said he would not and could not ban ANC members from showing their support for Zuma when he appeared in court. He noted that he would no-longer tolerate ANC members showing party regalia during these shows of support.
Zikalala noted that the new ANC leadership had decided to accept and respect the decision taken by the mother body.
It appears that Zikalala is attempting to bring the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal into line with the national structure and end months of tensions in the province.
The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has been a headache for the party as a whole, rumours and reports have indicated that the province could be the scene of a damaging split in the party and that certain factions were plotting to overthrow President Cyril Ramaphosa and reinstate Zuma as the party leader.
Zuma has not made any statement on the apparent loss of support from the ANC , but his spokesperson said the former president would respect any and all decisions made by the party.
Zuma will appear in the Pietermatitzburg High Court on Friday, he will debut his brand spanking new legal team after dismissing his previous team and even his long-serving personal lawyer Michael Hulley.
Briefly.co.za reported earlier that there was uncertainty about who would foot the bill for his new legal team, the Presidency will pay a portion of the bill but not all of it. Speculation seems to point to Zuma's old friends the Guptas paying for the balance.
In his closing address Zikalala vowed to end factionalism and heal rifts within the province and said the time had come for the ANC in the province to move forward as one and leave the divisions of the past in the past and work towards creating a brighter future for the people of KwaZulu-Natal.
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